VA Desert Pacific Health Care Network Announces Partnership to Offer Online Training Program for Veterans Choice Program Providers


PHOENIX (August 1, 2016) – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Desert Pacific Health Care Network, Center for Deployment Psychology, PsychArmor Institute and TriWest Healthcare Alliance today announced the launch of Operation Treat a Veteran (OTaV); a free, online training program available to TriWest Healthcare Alliance’s community-based, network of over 180,000 health care providers, who would like to learn more about treating Veterans while increasing their opportunities to receive referrals for health services through the Veterans Choice Program.

The organizations joined forces and created the program to expand Veterans’ access to timely, high-quality health care services beyond VA, by preparing civilian providers to most effectively serve Veterans. OTaV allows providers to learn about Veteran and military culture, health care issues and treatment methods. This approach will build confidence in their ability to treat Veteran patients, while earning free continuing education credit. It also includes the first ever, full-length online training in evidence based treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in Veterans.

“This robust program helps in our efforts to provide care to Veterans that is timely, easy to access, and delivered in an environment that is understanding and respectful of each Veteran’s service,” said Deborah Amdur, medical center director at the Phoenix VA Health Care System. “It gives providers who treat Veterans another educational tool they can use to better understand the issues those Veterans face.”

PsychArmor built three learning paths for providers who wish to receive Veteran referrals for PTSD, comorbid conditions and women’s health specialty referrals, based on course material provided by Center for Deployment Psychology (CDP) and national subject matter experts.

“At PsychArmor, we understand the intricacies of serving this unique community,” said Marjorie Morrison, CEO and founder of PsychArmor Institute. “Cultural awareness is critical to build rapport and effectively treat Veteran patients. OTaV gives providers insight which can alleviate many of the challenges Veterans and service members encounter when receiving health care.”

After its release in test markets, the program will be available to TriWest’s 28-state network of nearly 180,000 community providers of all specialties, including over 78,000 primary care and 20,000 behavioral health providers.

“TriWest is committed to training providers across our network to ensure they better understand the challenges faced by Veterans of all eras, know what to look for, and know where to refer someone in crisis,” said Dave McIntyre, President and CEO of TriWest Healthcare Alliance. “It is our distinct privilege to partner with PsychArmor, in collaboration with VA, to help prepare community primary care and behavioral health providers to most effectively serve Veterans who have so valiantly served our country.”

PsychArmor will continually support health care providers through their "Helping You Help Veterans" Support Center; staffed by behavioral health professionals who are prepared to answer any questions a provider may have with regard to service members and Veterans. Providers will also have access to optional courses through PsychArmor for additional continuing education credit. In addition, VA’s PTSD Consultation Program, staffed by experts from the National Center for PTSD, will be available to community providers across the TriWest network.  

More About OTaV 

  • The training is available for all community-based network providers in the 28 state TriWest Healthcare Alliance region of care. Training modules cover two broad topics: Military Lifestyle and Culture; and Evidence-based Psychotherapy. 
  • The three learning paths have four levels of training. Each level of completion corresponds to a level of patient acuity. With the completion of each level, TriWest Healthcare Alliance will refer Veterans who require primary or specialty care, or the treatment of PTSD with either Cognitive Processing or Prolonged Exposure Therapy
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